Special prosecutor appointed to investigate secret documents in Biden's house
Justice Department chief Merrick Garland appointed a special prosecutor to investigate possible mishandling of President Joe Biden’s classified documents after classified documents from Biden’s vice presidency were found in his Delaware home as well as in his office at the Penn-Biden Center for Analysis.
Robert Hur, a former federal prosecutor in Maryland who was appointed to the position by the Trump administration, became the special prosecutor. Robert Hur has been in private legal practice in Washington, D.C., since 2021.
In announcing the appointment, Garland said he was confident the Justice Department could have conducted the investigation on its own, but “extraordinary circumstances require the appointment of a special prosecutor on this matter.”
“This appointment underscores for the public the Justice Department’s commitment to accountability in particularly sensitive matters and that it makes decisions unquestionably guided only by the facts and the law,” Garland said.
He said he was “confident that Mr. Hur will carry out his responsibilities impartially,” and promised the appointed special prosecutor the full cooperation of the Justice Department.
The White House said it was prepared to cooperate fully with the special prosecutor’s office.
At a press conference, White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said the president did not know that the documents in question were among his private papers and that as soon as they were discovered, Biden’s private lawyers immediately alerted the National Archives and the Justice Department to the discovery.
Chronology of the discovery of classified documents in President Joe Biden’s private possession and the investigation into the matter:
After four years as U.S. Vice President, Joe Biden begins working intermittently at the Penn Biden Center, a think tank at the University of Pennsylvania. The center is located in Washington, D.C.
Nov. 2, 2022
President Biden’s lawyers accidentally discover 10 classified documents among other documents in boxes in Joe Biden’s former office at the Penn Biden Center. The lawyers report their find to the U.S. National Archives, turn over the found materials and begin cooperating with the Justice Department on the matter.
November 9, 2022.
The FBI begins an investigation to determine whether any federal laws were violated in the storage of classified information.
November 14, 2022.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland assigns John Lausch, Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, to investigate the case and asks him for an opinion on whether a special prosecutor is needed for the case.
December 20, 2022.
President Biden’s personal lawyer informs the U.S. Department of Justice that additional classified documents have been discovered in the president’s personal library at his home in Wilmington. The library is adjacent to the home’s garage.
Jan. 5, 2023
U.S. Attorney John Lausch informs U.S. Attorney General Garland of the investigation and recommends the appointment of a special prosecutor.
Jan. 9, 2023
The White House publicly announces that classified documents have been discovered in Biden’s former temporary office at the Penn Biden Center and says it is cooperating with investigators.
Jan. 12, 2023
Biden’s personal attorney informs the Justice Department that a classified document was discovered at the president’s Wilmington home.